East of the Sun, West of the Moon

2006/7/2

All Hardware Sucks

Filed under: Technology — Erwin @ 3:19 pm

I knew when I bought the laptop back in January that it wasn’t going to be the best hardware, I didn’t buy it for that.
No, when I picked it I was going for the trailing edge of technology, because all I was interested in was having a working wireless setup on which to run VNC to my actual desktop.

It would now appear that the fact that it’s been a display model had more effect on its longevity than just a few worn out keys on the keyboard, as it looks like the harddisk has stopped responding and I’m having trouble booting from a CD as well.

The next step was to download a fresh Ubuntu ISO to burn and try, just in case all the previous CDs I had were somehow too damaged to be readable and bootable, but to be honest I didn’t have much hope of this being sucessful, I just couldn’t not try. The conclusion almost had to be that the ATA controller is fried, though, which would mean that to fix it I would have to replace the motherboard. Yeah, and pigs will fly, that’s just not a very realistic option given the price that I originally paid for this thing.

So… ISO downloaded and burned and verified and I’m booting up the laptop again, lazily opening up the CD drive to put the freshly burned CD in there. And then it decides to boot from the harddisk, which it has apparently decided to recognize again. Colour me quite surprised!

I have of course immediately copied what little local data I had (nothing I couldn’t live without, and as said I use it as VNC platform 99% of the time), because I now have no idea if it’ll continue to boot from the harddisk like a good little laptop for months and years to come, or fail again the next time I try.

Here’s hoping…

Linkage on 2006-07-01

Filed under: Linkage — Erwin @ 1:10 am

Space shuttle launch called off
They’ll try again tomorrow. Cross your fingers, because the longer this gets delayed, the worse it gets.
(tags: news science space)

After 250 years, France falls for Marie Antoinette
France misses having a royal family, it would seem. Something to look up to… or at least to be distracted by them.
(tags: france history news)

Found: ‘Non-contactable’ witnesses who could free a Guantánamo detainee
“The three living witnesses he requested were easily located with a telephone, an internet connection and a few days’ work.”
(tags: bush guantanamo news politics)

‘Sugar plastic’ could reduce reliance on petroleum
One more potential good use for corn, unlike the (high fructose) corn syrup that seems to be in every-freaking-thing.
(tags: news science)

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